April 14th, 2004

White Coat

How many medical students does it take to carry a tube of blood across campus?

Three, O Best Beloved, when given a choice between carrying a tube of blood across campus and going to $underfunded_hospital for a prognosis consult.

It was 14:30 when we finished the LP, and I'm going to tell this story backwards because I wanted to use that line. It was 14:30 and I'd just gone running for ice for the nurses to put their sample tubes on, and was now carrying one precious red-topped Vacutainer of baby's blood carefully in my hand. The box to ship to Texas was in front of me, complete but for the contents of my tube. We needed serum, though, not blood. Blood does not freeze well.
L looks at me, then at Lindy and Branden - there's not much for three medical students to do on a service with 1.5 active patients - and says "I'm going to $hospital to do a prognosis consult. R's going to the ER to see a direct admit. You guys have lecture in half an hour?" We nodded. "You guys can come with me to do this consult, or you can carry the blood over to the lab and bring the serum back to the clinic."
What's the consult? One must always ask what the consult is before agreeing to go anywhere; consults have a nasty way of going rabid on you.

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I said I would tell this story backwards, and I am telling it backwards. We all chose, all three of us, to go to the lab with the tube of blood. L didn't seem surprised. Academically, I say as we walk down the stairs toward the gerbil tubes, I want to know what a hydranencephalic baby looks like.
"Personally, though," one of the others finishes, "I'd rather not." We don't need our hearts broken, not again and again. And tomorrow is CP clinic.

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We were five minutes late to lecture, but Neurosurgery kids were half an hour late. We took call tonight, Brendan and I, and it was two hours of lively lecture and discussion - the chief resident knows I want to do rural FP and delights in teasing me about it - before they told us to go home; they don't feel the need to keep us there when nobody's going into neurology. Besides, they were going to have to do work.
Home at 7. Recalcitrant I spent three hours eating dinner and reworking the Pearls chapter on Peds Surgery for next year's third-years. And then an hour and a half writing all of this down for you, O Best Beloved (welcome to minsies), because I've been thinking on it all all day.
It feels good to write. Now if I only spent as much time studying.
Tomorrow: going to read up on strokes and tracts and basic neuroanatomy. Really truly. But for now, bed.
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Rings

An imperfect tap...

Our cell count was back this morning, on the tubes of CSF we collected from my little chili pepper of a baby, the tubes we sent to our lab for ordinary tests, and froze some of. Tube 3 - our tube 3, drawn after five tubes to send to Texas, the cell count tube here - tube 3's results came up on the computer in red.
RBC: 170 *H
"Damn," L says softly. "All that and there was still blood in it." You can't do mass spectroscopy on a sample with blood, it seems. With luck, it'll still be good enough.

I think, but I am not certain, that she went home today while I was in lecture. I was, after all, in lecture from 1400 to 1830, and I stayed awake for it all. I did not stay completely awake during Radiology Rounds this morning, and the staff giving them made noises when I drowsed. She asked a question, then "Isn't that right, Nykki?" roused me from my semi-stupor.
It was a buggerin' CT scan of the auditory canals. I couldn't tell what the heck it was, she wasn't explaining, It looked like snails at a singles bar for shelled things. I lost interest when I couldn't follow her little diatribe and zoned completely out. Everyone was embarrassed for me. L, rolling her eyes later: "She's a bitch."

Good to know that my resident likes me. We must learn and do neuro exams on each other, and soon. Which implies me being able to do a neuro exam.
Which I will never do if I don't get some sleep.

I don't mean to imply that nothing happened today in Neurology, but we did talk about movies for an hour.
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